Most important architecture news of September 2015

Most important architecture news of September 2015

1. RIBA Awards 2016 Royal Gold Medal to Zaha Hadid

01_Zaha Hadid_portrait by Mary McCartney

Zaha Hadid portrait by Mary McCarteney

Baghdad-born, London-based architect, Zaha Hadid, is the first women to receive the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty, The Queen, and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant contribution to the profession. The medal will be officially handed next February. ( )

2. Alejandro Aravena announces theme for 2016 Venice Biennale: “Reporting from the front”


Courtesy of Venice Biennale

The next Venice Biennale will be titled “Reporting from the front” and it will be curated by Chilean architect Ajeandro Aravena. The theme aims to focus on architecture which works within the constraints presented by a lack of resources and those designs which subvert the status quo to produce architecture for the common good – no matter how small the success. ( )

3. Winners of “Dear Architecture” competition by Blank Space


Blank Space`s “Dear Architecture” book, Cover design by Irena Gajic

The winners of the first  competition “Dear Architecture” had been announced. The contestants were challenged to investigate one of the most important form of communication, and one of the most forgotten as well, the letter. The first place goes to Craig L. Wilkins, second place to Vershaé Hite and Brittany Eaker Kirkland and third place to Lewis Williams. “Dear Architecture” entrants had to pen their own 500-word letter to architecture – weather as a concept, a social practice, or as a community -along with an illustration to supplement their letter`s image. The letters indicate anything about how individual architects perceive the field right now. The winning entries along with 12 honorable mentions and other notable submission will be featured in Blank Space`s third book, titled “Dear Architecture”. ( )

4. Oslo 2016 Triennale – After Belonging: In Residence,  On Residence and the Ways We Stay in Transit 04_After-Belonging

“How can different agents involved in the built environment address the ways we stay in transit?” and “How can architects intervene in the reconfiguration of the contemporary residence?” The Oslo 2016 Architecture Triennale will be held from September 8-November 27 and will look at contemporary population mobility. It will be divided into two parts: On Residence and In Residence. The first part, will “collectively analyze the spatial conditions that shape our ways of staying in transit and the definition of our contemporary spaces of residence”, looking at how architecture is related to current issues like refugees, homelessness and migration. On the other hand, the second part, invites international architects and professionals to “engage in local collaborations in Oslo. the Nordic region and around the globe, to intervene in the transformation of residences”. ( )

5. Award-winning twisted timber cube tower is the tallest of its kind in Europe


Hawkins Brown Architects wooden cube

Designed by Hawkins\Brown Architects, this timber cube tower won the London Evening Standard New Homes Award for Developments of Outstanding Architectural Merit in 2015. It has a unique timber-steel hybrid structure and is the tallest building to use structural cross-laminated timber in Europe. The strategy behind the contorted cubist forms is to ensure each unit has a decent-sized balcony or terrace space that gives either stunning views of the neighborhood. The cruciform layout also provides four courtyards that create views as well as provide optimal natural light and ventilation to the the units. ( )

6.US firms announces plans to open “The Bauhaus of Africa”


MASS’s Ilima Primary School in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

MASS Design Group, a nonprofit US firm, plans to start an architecture and design training center in Kigali, Rwanda. The new center will offer design training both in the classroom and in the field, and will also offer classes geared toward “soft skills” such as networking and business development. The firm hopes to replicate the pilot school in other regions around the continent. “With population growth projected at one billion over the course of the next 20 years, Africa is in dire need of primary infrastructure” said the firm. “Its cities will need to rely on human-centered designers to tackle the continent’s challenges in a socially and ecologically sustainable way.” ( )

7. Sanaa`s meandering river building at Grace farms set to open in Connecticut  07_Sanaa_River_Building

Located in the rural area, the project aims to provide a publicly accessible open environment, ‘where people may experience nature, foster community, pursue justice and explore faith’. Known as the “river building”because of the way it meanders through the rolling terrain, Sanaa building seamlessly integrates into the natural setting of Grace Farms. Our goal with the river (building) is to make the architecture become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building,’ commented Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA. ( )

8.The Peckham Coal Line – London`s answer to New York`s High Line


The Peckham Coal Line in London, UK, has been billed as London’s answer to New York’s High Line linear park. It will connect the communities of Queens Road and Rye Lane in Peckham with a new urban park that will provide space for both pedestrians and cyclists, changing the lives of residents and businesses by bridging busy roads and creating a more direct link between two high streets. The ambition is for the park to become a much-loved landmark – a carefully crafted green space that will offer breath-taking views across the ever-changing London skyline. As well as providing a beautiful setting, the improvements will bridge the gap in a wider network of cycling and walking green ways between Brixton and the Thames. ( )

9. MoMA Releases First Storybook: ” Young Frank, Architect”


Cover of “Young Frank Architect” written by Frank Viva and published by MoMA

MoMA has released their first storybook,”Young Frank, Architect”, written by the renowned children`s author and illustrator Frank Viva. The story depicts the adventures of a young architect and his architect grandfather. Young Frank  sees creative possibilities in almost everything, from macaroni to old boxes. The message, the simplicity of the illustrations and the colors can inspire builders of all ages. What will it inspire you to build?  To see more of Young Frank’s adventure, check out MoMA`s website. ( )

10.Gigantic wooden megaphones amplify sounds of the forest in Estonia 10_Wood_Megafones

A group of interior architecture students from the Estonian Academy of Arts recently constructed three wooden megaphones in the middle of RMK’s Pähni Nature Center to amplify the sound of the surrounding forest. The conical structures are three meters in diameter and can hold several people inside of them. They can be used for everything from private meditation to public concerts or readings. ( )